HOT ON THE heels of Thursday’s Outdoors column, which touched on recent trout plants, comes the official release of the state Fish and Wildlife Department’s 2018 Hatchery Trout and Kokanee Stocking Plan.
The document details the agency’s plans to release 2.17 million catchables and 124,500 jumbos this year, in addition to 12.9 million fingerlings and other fish planted last year to grow and become large enough for anglers to catch and keep this spring and summer.
Anglers can cast for larger-than-normal catchable plants, according to Fish and Wildlife.
Catchables are trout that have been reared at Fish and Wildlife facilities and are 2 to 2½ fish per pound.
“Catchables were on average eight inches in length, but this year, they will be closer to 11 inches,” according to Fish and Wildlife.
The statewide trout derby also is back and will begin April 28.
This year it features nearly $40,000 in prizes from 120 companies for those who catch any of the 1,000 specially tagged rainbows stocked in more than 100 lakes. That’s an increase in prizes and locations from 2017.
With Wentworth Lake still inaccessible, the Bogachiel Hatchery South Pond will receive a plant of rainbow trout before opening day and another in May totaling 3,000 catchables.
Another pond at the hatchery will be stocked with 3,400 fish before the annual Kid’s Fishing Day in Forks set Sunday, May 6.
And Carrie Blake in Sequim and the Lincoln Park Pond will be stocked up before those respective kid’s fishing derbies.
A total of 6,000 catchables will be planted in Lake Leland near Quilcene this month and again in May. In addition, 150 jumbo cutthroat, trout weighing more than a pound, will be released in the lake this month.
A 2,000 strong release of jumbo rainbows will come in October.
Sandy Shore Lake will receive 3,000 catchable rainbows in April and May, along with 40 jumbo rainbows. A total of 1,400 fry/fingerlings will be released in October in time to grow for 2019 fishing.
Silent Lake on the Coyle Peninsula will receive 800 catchable rainbows in April.
Tarboo Lake between Chimacum and Quilcene will get 1,600 catchable rainbows in April/May and 50 jumbos in April.
Teal Lake near Port Ludlow will only receive jumbos, a total of 350 rainbows in March and April, as well as 50 cutthroat in March and 150 more in October.
Anderson Lake near Chimacum will get 2,500 catchables this month, and 1,200 jumbos in November.
And Gibbs, a catch-and-release lake for all trout species, will receive 740 jumbo rainbows in March/April, as well as 50 jumbo cutthroats. An October release will add 350 additional jumbo rainbows.
I’m hungry for a trout dinner after writing that.
Lake Leland needs that initial plant if you take the word of Quilcene’s Ward Norden, a former fisheries biologist and owner of Snapper Tackle Company.
“I checked Lake Leland [Wednesday] and the anglers at the pier were not doing as well as usual,” Norden said.
“The population of planted trout is starting to get thin in time for the first large plant, no doubt coming soon. The water temperature was 48 degrees, so the remaining large trout in the lake will be active and feeding as will the soon-to-be-planted ‘catchable’ trout. This water temperature will also get the crappie into their spawning cycle and maybe even a few bass (very few yet) will be active.”
Report sick swans
With spring migration now underway, Fish and Wildlife asks that people report dead, sick, or injured swans in western Washington to support ongoing efforts to assess the impact of lead poisoning on trumpeter and tundra swans.
People can report their observations 24 hours a day by calling 360-466-4345, ext. 266 through the end of April. Callers should be prepared to leave a short detailed message including their name and phone number, along with the location and condition of the swans.
Swans die from lead poisoning each year in western Washington after ingesting lead shot while foraging in shallow underwater areas, in fields and roosts where sources of lead are present. Although lead shot has been banned for waterfowl hunting nationwide for more than two decades, the risk to swans remains.
Washington state attracts more than 17,000 trumpeter swans each year, said Kyle Spragens, Fish and Wildlife waterfowl manager. Most of those birds flock to the fields of Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish counties, although the species has expanded its range recent years, he said.
Spragens said department has received reports of sick and dead swans in Clallam and Pierce counties just within the past week.
“We strive to respond to every report we receive,” Spragens said. “Our goal is both to help individual swans and to locate sources of lead poisoning.”
Spragens said people who observe dead, sick, or injured swans should avoid handling or collecting the birds.
Mountain climber, backcountry ranger, author and Port Townsend native Leif Whittaker will be back in his hometown Thursday as part of the Port Townsend Library’s Community Read program.
His memoir My Old Man and the Mountain, a chronicle of his life and his climb of Mount Everest, is the 2018 Community Read selection. The program is designed to promote closer ties among community members through the shared experience of reading, sharing and discussing the same book and ideas related to topics raised by the book.
Whittaker will be introduced by his father Jim, the first American to summit Everest, at the event at Port Townsend High School, 1500 Van Ness, at 6:30 p.m.
A book signing will follow with books for sale at the event by Imprint Books.
The event is free and open to the public.
Sports reporter/columnist Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or [email protected]